The government of Australia has a particularly harsh — many consider illegal — policy of sending any refugee or asylum seeker who arrives by boat to remote detention centers in Papua New Guinea and the island nation of Nauru. They do so without exception.
Daniel Webb is an Australian lawyer who is fighting that policy.
He is the Director of Legal Advocacy at Australia’s Human Rights Law Center and he represents asylum seekers who are stranded indefinitely in these camps.
In 2016 Daniel helped lead a campaign called Let Them Stay, which petitioned the government to allow a few hundred of these asylum seekers who were transported from these islands to Australia for medical treatment to remain in the country.
For his work on behalf of these asylum seekers Daniel received the 2017 Global Pluralism Award of which he was one of three finalists. The award, “celebrates the extraordinary achievements of organizations, individuals and governments who are tackling the challenge of living peacefully and productively with diversity.” It was conferred by the Global Pluralism Center, which is a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Aga Khan, the religious leader and philanthropist and head of the NGO, the Aga Khan Development Network. He and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada were on hand to present this award at a ceremony in Ottawa a couple months ago. I was in the audience, and after seeing his acceptance speech and learning more about his work I knew I had to get him on the show.
This is a powerful conversation that shines a light on a profoundly unjust and ongoing situation.